Rosanne Dingli

Rosanne Dingli

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Excitement and fear

The various stages a book undergoes between inception of an idea and final publication are packed with incidents and accidents that can fill any author with doubt, loathing and fear. Writing, researching, rewriting and editing all require decisions, creativity, and incredibly hard work. Sometimes, authors can simply stop in their tracks, numbed by the process. Although it is not strictly speaking writer's block, this stage has been called that by many. It is enough to drive one quite insane.

Then there's the stage when a finished novel is being prepared for release. It is possibly when an author feels most doubt. The manuscript could have undergone another edit or two. Or a rewrite... or something! Is it really ready to go? Will readers like it? There are distinct stages in the creation of a novel that can soothe, disturb or agitate. Will this ever end?

Questions of that nature abound - but soothing things happen to even the keel of the most hesitant author. Working with a publisher whose digital awareness and marketing aplomb are terrific certainly helps. While I am struggling with doubt and trepidation, BeWrite Books and its editors and designer are working behind the scenes in a capable kind of calmness that's so realistic ... and yet so frightening.

They, of course, have created dozens of titles. I have not come anywhere near one dozen, so my nervousness is understandable. Camera Obscura is slated for release on March 30 or thereabouts, and I have no doubt BeWrite Books will once more come up with the goods - their third time for me.

Design by Tony Szmuk
Imagine my delight when I find they are unveiling the cover in stages, using puzzle pieces that so aptly denote the contents - it is a puzzle indeed. It's a thriller with a strong romantic overtone, which might seem a bit unusual, seeing the protagonist is a male Australian photojournalist.

This kind of gradual revelation is soothing to an author, who takes a novel from inception to launch with a number of foreboding questions. There are many slip-ups, reversals, decisions and knotty problems. Always, there is that feeling of indecision - a sense of insecurity. One teeters on edges and rocks on one's creative heels - locked on the itchy horns of some dilemma which might be halved if shared.

Only other writers understand this stage. Luckily, I have the privilege of knowing a number of writers whose advice, support and help - not to mention their understanding at a time like this - is gold. Gold.

Bear with me as I weather this time. As I cross this bridge, as I reach for metaphors to signify this terrible time  in an author's life, when everything seems futile and a complete waste of time.

Comment if you are an author who also experiences times of frustration and inertia, especially on the threshold of a launch.

Comment if you are a curious reader, who wonders what the fuss is all about.
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